I really wanted to like “Ant-Man and the Wasp.”
The first “Ant-Man,” released in 2015, was a fun and enjoyable ride. I gave it an A-. At this point, however, I think Marvel Studios is just going through the motions and cranking out their usual one to two titles per year. Their blockbuster, “Avengers: Infinity War,” debuted in April and the filmmakers failed to mention that it was just Part 1 of at least a two-part saga. “Ant-Man and the Wasp” is one of the lesser Marvel Studios entries. I expected, at some point, that a Marvel entry would hit the “meh” category in its storytelling. This entry left me disappointed. At a certain point, the Marvel-based entries suffer from a limited color palate. Most have a certain color dynamic that is not too bright and falters in the breeze without any “punch.” Not to draw too much comparison to the DC universe, but “Ant-Man” felt like the final episode of Martin Campbell’s “Green Lantern” when everything had been said and done with that particular title.
Paul Rudd must still be following his workout routine from the first “Ant-Man” flick because he still has tight washboard abs. In “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” the superhero team must contend with a villain known only as Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), who has high-tech abilities beyond their means and who can jump from place to place in an instant. Ghost gets help from Laurence Fishburne’s Dr. Bill Foster, who was an old ally of Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). Family dynamics are a main part of the storyline.
Another subplot involves Walton Goggins as small arms dealer Sonny Burch. He cares little for human life as long as it puts green into his wallet. Returning characters include Hank’s wife Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer), who has been stuck in the Quantum Realm for upwards of 40 years. She has a way of helping Ghost because she knows the ins-and-outs of the alternate universe in which she is trapped.
Rudd’s Scott Lang shares some great scenes with Evangeline Lilly’s Wasp (Hope Van Dyne). The pair has some great on-screen chemistry and knows each other’s next move before they happen. That’s important for their hand-to-hand combat sequences and battles with the enemy.
The computer graphics are amazing. They’re used to add a touch of gray to the beards of both Douglas and Fishburne and make Pfeiffer look vibrant. Even at 60, Pfeiffer is still a knockout.
Director Peyton Reed, who also called the shots on the 2015 version, knows how to keep the movie flowing at an even pace. Like Taika Waititi did in “Thor: Ragnarok,” Reed has a keen sense about lacing comedy into the mix. It is not humor in abundance, but the jokes strike just the right chord in certain spots.
I did not particularly dislike this movie, but found myself shrugging my shoulders quite a bit. Everything is in place but the “ooh’s” and “aah’s” are missing in the end.